Arizona @ Chicago
Arizona +120 over Chicago

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smallbet365 +120      small888 +120    SIASMALL +100

Odds posted at 1:00 PM EST and are subject to change. 

Arizona +120 over Chicago

2:20 PM EST. Significant credit for Arizona’s early success goes to pitching coach Brent Strom, who parted ways with the Astros last November after an eight-season run (2014-21) that included six trips to the playoffs, three pennants, a championship, and a pair of Cy Young award winners (Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander).

Through Wednesday, Arizona’s starters ranked second in the league in ERA (2.59) behind only the Dodgers, second in home runs per nine (0.70) behind only the Giants, and fifth in xERA (3.54) despite ranking just 10th in both strikeout and walk rates (19.9% and 7.6%, respectively). That -0.95 ERA-xERA gap owes plenty to the rotation’s ability to generate soft contact. The unit’s .240 BABIP is 17 points lower than any other NL team, with its 87.4 mph average exit velocity, 34.2% hard-hit rate, and 6.8% barrel rate all third, the last in a virtual tie with the Phillies and Marlins. When a team can pitch like this, or prevent runs like this, they’re going to win some games and it’s for that reason that we’ll put Arizona on our radar for 20 games in succession.

That backing started on May 20th and will end on June 12 after a three game set in Philadelphia. Thus far, we are 1-0, making this Game 2 of 20.

Here are today’s starters:

Shoulder inflammation cost Madison Bumgarner (LHP - ARI) six weeks in June/July of last year. His 2nd half ERA/WHIP would have you believe he spent that IL stint finding what he left in San Francisco. After eight starts this year, it’s still looking like he found what he left in San Francisco, as he comes in with a 2.29 ERA and 1.19. Truth be told, all MadBum has found is a hit-rate/strand rate fortune, when what we were looking for was his former velocity/swing & miss rate//K%. Alas, those are still lost in the Bay Area. Dude has 21 K’s in 35 innings with a swing and miss rate of 7.9%. If we weren’t backing Arizona daily, this version of MadBum would be hard to get behind because his luck can’t last.

Justin Steele (RHP - CHC) is 1-4 with a 4.50 ERA after seven starts. He’s only pitched 28 innings over those starts so durable he is not. He has a BB/K split of 15/29 with a very shaky first-pitch strike rate of 50%. Steele is a reliever that is starting games and it’s not working out. After some relief work last year, he returned as starter and his skills nosedived. While all samples are small, a 25% K-BB% as a reliever vs. 9% as a starter provides a pretty good hint at where any potential value lies. He’s a good fade.

Play:


Our Pick

Arizona +120 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.40)

Detroit @ Cleveland
Detroit +170 over Cleveland

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smallbet365 +165      small888 +155    SIASMALL +170

Odds posted at 1:00 PM EST and are subject to change. 

Detroit +170 over Cleveland

6:10 PM EST. For 17 straight games and ending with a three-game set against Minnesota on June 2, we’ll be playing the Tigers daily. Detroit will be an underdog all three games in Tampa, then it’s 15 straight games against both Minnesota and Cleveland where the Tigers will be a dog in most of them and only a slight favorite at home in the others. This is game 5 of 17 in anticipation of Detroit winning more games than they lose over that span. Thus far, we are 1-3 in backing the Tigers.

Here are today’s starting pitchers:

Alex Faedo (RHP - DET) is a former first round selection of the Tigers (pick 18 in 2017), that was penciled in with the rest of their quality crop of young arms to take a rotation spot sooner rather than later. It hasn’t worked out that way. Faedo missed all of last season working his way back from Tommy John surgery and prior to his five starts this season (one each in AA and AAA and three in MLB), he hadn’t seen any meaningful action in 2½ years.

Faedo is 0-1 and is still working his way back at the highest level, but that he’s not getting lit up is promising. The strikeouts were there in his minor league starts, as he sported a 23% swing and miss rate in those two starts. In his three major league outings, Faedo has posted a solid 12.8% mark in that department. This dude is under the radar so put him on yours.

Shane Bieber (RHP - CLE) is one of the pitchers who has not benefited from a relatively new statistic, Called Strikes + Whiffs or CSW% (coined in 2018). Essentially it factors called strikes, swinging strikes (including blocked ones), swinging pitch-outs and foul tips into the glove while not counting foul balls. The idea being that while foul balls are a strike, the hitter still may have made solid contact.

Through May 13, Beiber ranks second among pitchers with at least 100 batters faced who have seen their CSW% drop the most. First on that list is the struggling Austin Gomber, who looks to be a different pitcher in 2022 after a breakout last season. Bieber is just 1-2 in 2022. He sports an xERA of 4.43, which is higher than his surface number of 3.72.

Play:


Our Pick

Detroit +170 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.40)

Atlanta @ Miami
Miami +125 over Atlanta

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smallbet365 +125      small888 +120    SIASMALL +122

Odds posted at 1:00 PM EST and are subject to change. 

Miami +125 over Atlanta

6:10 PM. The Marlins are a team we have discussed frequently this season. A team on the verge of contending, the Marlins are a fraction away from posting a top-5 record in the majors. The Marlins are an insane 4-13 in one-run games this year. As a result of its weak recent form on paper (caused by extreme poor fortune) the Marlins remain without question one of the most undervalued teams in the league. It is for that reason that we’ll put them on our radar and play them every game for the next 15 games. We started this on May 20th and it will end on June 5th after the final game of four against San Francisco. This is Game 2 of 15. So far we are 0-1.

Here are today’s starting pitchers:

Prior to 2022, Kyle Wright (RHP - ATL) had amassed a 6.56 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in 70 MLB innings, spread over four seasons. The Braves allowed him to spend virtually the entire 2021 season at Triple-A Gwinnett where he posted a 3.02 ERA in 137 IP, and he has carried that momentum into 2022 with a sparkling 2.79 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 42 innings with 50 K’s and just 12 walks issued. No question he has looked every bit the top flight prospect the Braves pegged him to be when they selected him fifth overall in 2017.

Elieser Hernandez (RHP - MIA) battled injuries in 2021, which contributed to his mediocre 4.18 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. When he pitched, his skills were really good: 24% K%, 6% BB%, 17% K-BB%, 38% grounders and a 3.99 xERA. His bugaboo was gopheritis (2.3 HR/9), as batters had no problem squaring him up. Gopheritis is once again phishing him this year (2.7 HR/9) but at this park, his chances of keeping the ball in the yard increases. He is in no way the superior starter here but we’re not playing starters. We’re playing Miami to beat Atlanta and we also find it a little curious that the Braves are p[riced this low.

Play:


Our Pick

Miami +125 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.50)

Cincinnati @ Toronto
Cincinnati +260 over Toronto

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smallbet365 +215       small888 +20    SIASMALL +260

Odds posted at 1:00 PM EST and are subject to change. 

Cincinnati +260 over Toronto

6:10 PM EST. We’re playing the Reds daily until May 26. We began backing the Reds on May 10 and so far we are 4-4. This is Game 9 of 16 of our continuous play on the Reds and here is today’s pitching matchup:

Alek Manoah (RHP - TOR) is probably the only starter in the game with six pure quality starts in seven attempts. He comes in with a 4-1 record and a 1.71 ERA and he pitches for the Blue Jays. Add it all up and one will pay a hefty price to back the favorite here.

Last year, Manoah went 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA in 112 innings. He rocketed to the majors after only 38 innings in the minors. But after early success, the workload may have taken a toll, as his 2nd half skills slipped and he danced around LHB (13% BB%). While some may see "future ace," long-term role might hinge on change-up development. His 3.79 career MLB xERA suggests he's less of a finished product than it appears. Dude is good but he’s not THIS good.

Hunter Greene (RHP - CIN) is now 1-6 with a 6.21 ERA after seven starts. What’s even more bizarre is that he allowed one run on no hits and five walks while striking out nine in 7.1 innings to take the loss Sunday against the Pirates. Rare is it that a dude throws a no-hitter through 7.1 innings, gets taken out of the game and takes a loss but such is the plight for Hunter Greene. We’ve previewed him a few times this year and will reiterate that his stuff is filthy. Yeah, he might walk 10 guys and yeah he might last two innings instead of nearly eight but a pitcher with stuff like his must be played at a price like this. The kid is a stud in the making. He makes hitters look foolish although his surface stats suggest nothing of the sort. That works in our favor because it inflates the price on him.

Play:


Our Pick

Cincinnati +260 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 5.20)

Minnesota @ Kansas City
Kansas City +125 over Minnesota

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smallbet365 +125       small888 +125    SIASMALL +125

Odds posted at 12:45 PM EST and are subject to change. 

Kansas City +125 over Minnesota

8:10 PM EST. We locked in on Kansas City on May 10 and we are riding the Royals up until May 24th when they conclude a two-game set in Arizona. Since we started backing them daily, we are 4-6. This is game 11 of 15 in which we'll get behind the Royals.

Here are today’s starting pitchers:

Joe Ryan (RHP - MIN) has been a pitching analytics darling long before he hit the major leagues, but his path to “The Show” was not an easy one. Drafted in the seventh round by the Rays in 2018, Ryan was another in a long list of sneaky steals made by a shrewd baseball ops department that greatly valued the goods under the hood.

A horrendous Twins pitching staff made room for Ryan to start the season in the bigs. as a near 26-year-old rookie and he’s made the most of it. Ryan is 4-2 with a tidy 2.39 ERA. However, a weak 31.3% groundball rate says trouble is looming and so does his fortunate 83.3% strand rate. 

Brad Keller (RHP - KC) sports a 2.89 ERA that is backed up by an xERA of 3.33. Although his strikeout rate is low, he makes up for it with an elite groundball rate of 53%. He’s also pitching deeper into games.

Play:


Our Pick

Kansas City +125 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.50)

RangeWLP+/- (Units)
Yesterday140.00-5.60
Last 30 Days34610.00-32.40
Season to Date61880.00-16.40